The Pâtissier: Recipes and Conversations from Alsace, France was born out of a chance encounter between an American spending a year in France and her neighbor, an Alsatian chef. Author Susan Lundquist and photographer, Frédéric Lacroix were in search of the authentic European life after spending a few years in Silicon Valley— and they ran right into it. Just days after moving into their new apartment in the heart of the aptly named Petite France, the oldest and most beautiful neighborhood in the city of Strasbourg in Alsace, they came face to face with a two week garbage strike in a town full of restaurants, a furnished apartment that included creepy critters,, and a 90 year old land lord who was proud of his WW II plumbing. They were in over their heads until their neighbor Hossine “Ben” Bennara invited the couple over for dinner. He gave them advice on everything including local recipes, thus creating a beautiful friendship centered around French cuisine. After this life-changing meeting, the concept of The Pâtissier: Recipes and Conversations from Alsace, France developed naturally—a collection of stories, humor, and meals reflecting Ben’s life and family recipes. Together, Ben and Susan have compiled the ultimate combo in The Pâtissier—good food and good company!